GAINESVILLE – Bolles (Jacksonville) is back where they were at the beginning of this season and at the end of the 2009 season – on top of the all-classification Prep Zone Power Poll.
The Bulldogs (13-1) knocked off top-ranked Booker T. Washington (Miami), 33-25, in the Class 4A state championship game to win their 11th state title in school history and their 10th under coach Corky Rogers, who passed George Smith for the most post-season wins.
Bolles, which won the Class 2B state title in 2009, was a unanimous selection as the top overall team, moving up five spots in the final poll. The ‘Dogs rallied from a 25-12 fourth quarter deficit and scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to knock off the top-ranked Tornadoes.
The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, basketball and baseball teams (regardless of classification) across 26 counties in north Florida (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Madison, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, Sumter, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Union & Volusia counties). It is voted on weekly by sportswriters and sportscasters.
First Coast (Jacksonville) and Madison County reached the state championship game in their respective classes but lost in the title game and finished tied for second.
The Bucs of First Coast (13-1) reached the title game for the first time in school history but were routed by Manatee (Bradenton), 40-0, in the Class 7A state championship game. Meanwhile, the Cowboys (12-2) got back to the finals for the first time in four years but lost to American Heritage (Delray Beach), 30-3, in the 3A championship game.
Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (6A) (12-2) lost to nationally-ranked and eventual state champion Armwood (Seffner) in the Class 6A state semifinals, but the Bears moved up five spots to finish fourth. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (11-2) also went 3-1 in the postseason, losing to Miami Central in the 6A state semifinals, but the Buccaneers climbed seven spots to finish fifth.
Fletcher (Neptune Beach) made a deep run in the postseason too, knocking off the #2 (Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley) and #7 (DeLand) teams in the state, before falling to eventual state champion Plant in the Class 8A state semifinals. The Senators (11-3) made the biggest jump in the final poll, moving up 12 spots to finish sixth.
Jefferson County (Monticello) wasn’t ranked when the state playoff games began, but the Tigers knocked off the #1 (Union County in the state semifinals) and #2 (Trenton in the region finals) teams in the state in the postseason, followed by a 47-13 win over #4 Chipley in the Class 1A state championship game to finish seventh. The Tigers (9-5) won their sixth state championship in school history and their first since 1991.
Union County (Lake Butler) (11-1), which advanced to the state semifinals for the first time since 2004, finished eighth. The Tigers’ loss to 1A champion Jefferson County was their only loss of the season.
Gainesville (10-3), which advanced to the state semifinals last year, lost to eventual state champion Armwood in the 6A regional finals and finished ninth, while Ponte Vedra (10-2) lost to eventual state runners-up, Wakulla, in the 5A regional finals and rounded out the top 10.
Columbia (Lake City) (8-4) and Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (7-5), who were not ranked or receiving votes in the final regular season poll, finished 18th and 20th respectively, while St. Augustine (9-2) made the biggest drop, tumbling 13 spots to #16 following a first-round home loss to Columbia in the 6A playoffs.
PREP ZONE POWER POLL – FINAL RANKINGS
(School, followed by first-place votes, classification, final record and total voting points)
1. Bolles (Jacksonville) (6) (4A) (13-1) – 120
2T First Coast (Jacksonville) (7A) (13-1) – 106
2T Madison County (3A) (12-2) – 106
4. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (6A) (12-2) – 94
5. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (6A) (11-2) – 90
6. Fletcher (Neptune Beach) (8A) (11-3) – 83
7. Jefferson County (Monticello) (1A) (9-5) – 77
8. Union County (Lake Butler) (1A) (11-1) – 74
9. Gainesville (6A) (6A) (10-3) – 73
10. Ponte Vedra (5A) (10-2) – 59
11. DeLand (8A) (10-2) – 54
12. Fleming Island (Orange Park) (7A) (9-3) – 50
13. Trenton (1A) (11-1) – 41
14. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (5A) (10-1) – 35
15. North Marion (Citra) (5A) (9-3) – 31
16. St. Augustine (6A) (9-2) – 27
17. Warner Christian (South Daytona) (2A) (9-4) – 26
18. Columbia (Lake City) (6A) (8-4) – 24
19. Creekside (St. Johns) (5A) (8-4) – 23
20. Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (3A) (7-5) – 22
Also receiving votes: Santa Fe (Alachua) (5A) (8-3) – 11; Yulee (4A) (7-3) – 8; South Sumter (Bushnell) (4A) (8-3) – 8; Fort White (3A) (8-4) – 6; Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (3A) (7-3) – 4; Eagle’s View (Jacksonville) (2A) (9-3) – 3; Hernando (Brooksville) (6A) (8-3) – 3; Raines (Jacksonville) (4A) (8-4) – 2.